My Favorite Do’s And Don’ts For Writing Press Releases

If you’re not a PR expert, writing a press release might seem like a daunting task. But don’t worry! The key to writing successful press releases is knowing how to direct your message and make it interesting for readers. Here are some tips on what works (and what doesn’t) when writing a newsworthy press release:

Do get to the point quickly

Don’t waste time with fluff.

Don’t talk about yourself and your company.

Don’t talk about your product or service, especially not in a way that makes it sound like you’re bragging or trying to sell something.

If you have competitors, don’t talk about them unless the news is relevant to their business as well as yours for example, if one has closed up shop and another has taken over the market share they had before closing down. 

In that case, mention it briefly but don’t spend too much time on it; people will think that you’re just spending time talking about other companies instead of giving them what they want: information!

Focus on crafting a compelling headline that grabs attention.
Ensure your press release has a clear and concise structure.
Incorporate relevant quotes from key individuals to add credibility.
Provide essential details early in the press release to engage readers.
Avoid using jargon or overly complex language. Keep it accessible.
Proofread and edit meticulously to eliminate errors and typos.
Tailor your press release to your target audience and their interests.
Include multimedia elements like images or videos to enhance engagement.
Always include a clear call to action for readers or journalists.
Respect journalists’ time and format your press release for easy reading.

Don’t Use Hyperbole Or Buzzwords

Next, you don’t want to use words that don’t mean what they’re supposed to mean or are overused. For example, if you say “we can’t wait for this new feature” when what you mean is “we’re excited about this new feature,” then it’s not just a little bit wrong it’s false and misleading. 

In addition, if every single sentence in your press release uses the word “innovative,” then either 1) your company doesn’t have any real innovations or 2) everyone else in your industry is way more innovative than yours. Either way, stop being so lazy! 

Finally, avoid buzzwords like “cutting edge” and instead focus on explaining why your product is different from the competition by telling readers how it works or how it makes their lives better.

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Don’t Ramble On And On

As a writer, you probably understand the importance of keeping your reader engaged. The last thing you want to do is bore them with unnecessary information or make them have to sift through the fluff to get to the point. When writing a press release, keep it short and sweet: no more than 250 words (including the title). 

If you can’t fit all of your information into that space, reconsider what you’re saying in the first place if it’s not crucial for readers to know about this new product/service/event/etc., then leave it out!

Do Be Sure To Include A Quote From Someone At Your Company

“Quotes can further personalize the story, add more color and detail, and give readers something memorable to hang onto,” said Angelique Hochstrat, founder of PR firm Angelique Communications. “They’re also great for showing that you’re an expert in your field.”

Quotes should be short and sweet no more than one or two sentences at most but they should also hit all of the key points of what makes your story unique and valuable to readers. 

If possible, get a quote from someone who has been involved with or affected by whatever issue you’re trying to raise awareness about (if applicable). This way it feels more authentic than just saying “a spokesperson for our company told us this.”

Crafting a compelling press release requires attention to detail and adherence to best practices. Discover 17 essential tips for putting together a successful press release by checking out our article on putting together a press release.

Don’t Write With An Impersonal Tone

One of the most important things to remember when writing a press release is to keep your tone personal. If you’re writing an email to your best friend about a party that you’re going to, then it’s fine to say “We’re going out.” That is personal and conversational.

But if you were sending out an email about the same party but it was for business purposes, then using the word “we” would be entirely inappropriate (unless it’s plural!). Instead of saying “We are going out,” maybe consider something like “I am attending this event and would like you to come along as well.”

Of course, there are other times when “you” works well instead of “we” or “I” for example, when addressing recipients by name: “Ms. Smith, I’m contacting you because…”

Do be sure to tell the reader who to call if they need more info.

Be sure to include contact information, including the name and title of the person you should contact with questions.

Make sure that the contact information you provide is complete and correct. A good press release should tell a reader how they can reach you for more info about your event or product and if your email address doesn’t work, it’s not going to help anyone.

Your contact info might include an email address, phone number(s), fax number(s), or mailing address (if applicable).

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Don’t Bury The Lead (This Is the Most Important Thing!)

Don’t use jargon or excessive technical verbiage that people outside your field won’t understand (or even care about).

Do make sure you also send a small intro about who you are and why you’re contacting that person – people are way more likely to respond if it seems personal and not just a press release blast message.

Do Use Spell Check Or Have Someone Proofread Your Press Release Before Sending It Out

Spell check, and then have someone else proofread it. It’s a good idea to use spell check before sending out your press release, but don’t rely on this alone. If you misspell something in an email or on social media, people will usually know what you meant anyway! But when it comes to writing a formal document like a press release, every word counts.

Double-check links for accuracy! Links can easily get broken if someone edits the page you linked from or if the site itself changes its URL structure. Before sending out your press release make sure that all of the links are working by typing them into your browser and clicking through them (or pasting them into another browser window).

Want your press releases to go viral and reach a wider audience? Learn the strategies and techniques to make it happen by reading our guide on creating press releases that go viral.

Don’t Use Jargon Or Excessive Technical Verbiage That People Outside Your Field Won’t Understand (Or Even Care About)

There are a few reasons to write in simple, straightforward language. First, it’s more accessible for your readers. Second, it will help you become a better writer by forcing yourself to think about your audience and what information would be most relevant to them.

When I say “don’t use jargon,” I mean don’t try to impress anyone with big words or phrases that aren’t generally used among everyday people in the real world. 

You can make yourself sound smarter by using smaller words instead of bigger ones this is called “economy of expression.” It’s not always easy, but it helps guide us toward writing clearly while avoiding too much complexity or confusion in our sentences and paragraphs.

To avoid sounding like an expert who is trying too hard to impress his readers with technical terms that they may not understand otherwise (which could cause them not to want to read anything else), try writing about things that most people do understand (e.g., health care providers) rather than things only experts might know about (e.g., coding languages).

Don’t send attachments! Keep your text in the body of the email and send links to photos instead of sending people large files over email.

Here’s an easy way to tell if you’re doing it right:

Are your links secure and trustworthy?

Do they offer the recipient something useful, like information or a photo album?

Can they be shared easily with others?

If the answer is no to any of these questions, then you should rethink sending attachments. They’re not just a pain for the reader; they also hurt your brand image because they don’t allow people access to helpful content or engage them in a way that makes them feel comfortable and welcome.

Do double-check that all links are working correctly, especially if you’re using Bitly links to shorten URLs.

This is something that should go without saying, but it’s still worth mentioning: double-check that all links are working properly. 

Make sure you have the correct URL, email address, phone number, or social media handles for every contact that needs to be linked to. Also, make sure these all work before sending out your press release because if one of them doesn’t work then it could expose your company or organization to potential security threats.

You should also double-check your website and social media profiles as well because sometimes mistakes happen there too! 

If you don’t have a website yet (which I’m going to assume based on the fact that this post is meant for beginners), it would be best not to have any links in your press release at all until after you’ve set up a proper site with everything working properly.

Do make sure you also send a small intro about who you are and why you’re contacting that person-people are way more likely to respond if it seems personal and not just a press release blast message.

You might be tempted to send the same blast email to everyone, but don’t. People are way more likely to respond if it seems personal and not just a press release blast message.

Don’t forget to make it personal! Not only do people like getting emails from real people, but they’ll also respond better when they can relate to what you’re saying. 

Also, include information that makes sense for each person’s interests (e.g., “As we know from our previous conversations…”). This can help you stand out from other companies and show that you care about them as individuals – which will go miles towards making them feel good about doing business with you!

The best way to get someone interested in reading your story is by telling them a story that they can relate to personally; try writing like how we speak naturally instead of robotically repeating keywords over and over again! 

If possible, try putting yourself into your writing; remember that your goal is not just simply getting the reader interested in reading more but also trying hard enough so that they want even more than just being told what happened.”

Don’t send emails when you’re feeling grumpy or irritable – take a few minutes and calm down before pressing “send.” You don’t want your frustration showing in your emails.

Don’t send emails when you’re feeling grumpy or irritable. Take a few minutes to calm down before pressing “send.” You don’t want your frustration showing in your email, especially if it’s going out to someone who could be considered a professional contact.

Don’t write in ALL CAPS. It’s unprofessional and rude, even if you’re sending an angry message (see above).

Don’t use swear words, or overly offensive language. Even though the media might use them quite often when talking about certain issues, there is still a time and place for swearing—and that time has not yet come for your press release!

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As you can see, there are plenty of dos and don’ts when it comes to writing a great press release. 

But, the most important thing is that you keep your audience in mind at all times. Whether it’s an employee or a potential investor, remember that they want to know why this matters to them. And by telling them that story in an engaging way, you’ll have no trouble getting their attention!

Further Reading

For additional insights on effective press release writing, check out the article “Tips for Writing Press Releases” by BrandHause. Gain valuable tips and strategies to enhance your press release skills.

Learn about the art of creating attention-grabbing press releases in the Cision article “7 Tips We Love for Writing a Press Release That Gets Noticed.” Discover techniques that can help your press releases stand out in a crowded media landscape.

Get expert advice on dos and don’ts for crafting effective press releases from CBPR with their article “10 Dos and Don’ts When Writing a Press Release.” Enhance your press release writing skills by avoiding common pitfalls and embracing best practices.


What are the key elements of a successful press release?

A successful press release typically includes a compelling headline, informative subheadline, engaging lead paragraph, relevant quotes, essential details, and a clear call to action.

How can I make my press release stand out from the competition?

To make your press release stand out, focus on crafting a unique angle, using attention-grabbing headlines, providing valuable insights, incorporating multimedia elements, and tailoring your message to your target audience.

What is the importance of including quotes in a press release?

Quotes from key stakeholders or experts lend credibility and authenticity to your press release. They provide a human element and give media professionals valuable material for their stories.

Should I follow any specific formatting guidelines when writing a press release?

Yes, adhering to proper formatting is crucial. Use a clear and concise structure, include a release date, use a professional tone, and ensure all essential information is easily accessible.

How can I distribute my press release effectively?

Consider using distribution services, reaching out to relevant journalists or media outlets directly, sharing it on your social media platforms, and utilizing your organization’s mailing list to ensure maximum exposure for your press release.